BOYD, Md. (Feb. 15, 2015) – After a weekend of numerous NCAA-qualifying performances and many conference and school records broken, when all was said and done, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's swimming & diving team captured the 2015 Landmark Conference Championship! It was the Mariners' eighth-consecutive Landmark title and 14th conference championship overall (including Skyline titles) under head coach Sean Tedesco.
Merchant Marine totaled a conference-record 973 points and finished 452.5 points ahead of second-place Susquehanna. The Mariners touched first in 12 events out of the 20 total events.
USMMA also claimed a sweep of the four major awards that were handed out as senior Kevin Lindgren (Palm City, Fla.) was named the Landmark Swimmer of the Year for the third-straight season, junior Gerrit Porter (Houston, Texas) earned his third-straight Diver of the Year honors, freshman Nick Lambson (Knoxville, Tenn.) was the league's Rookie of the Year and Tedesco along with diving coach Johan Lopez and assistant Matt De Tiberiis took home the Coaching Staff of the Year award.
Lindgren won seven events over the three days of competition and qualified for the NCAA Tournament in all seven. He led off all four relay teams – the 200-free (1:24.81), 400-medley (3:22.30), 200-medley (1:32.70) and 400-free (3:06.18). Individually, he touched first in the 200-individual medley (1:48.30), 100-back (48.69) and 200-back (1:45.84).
Lindgren's 50-free time of 20.73 in the 200-free relay was a school record, while his 200-IM performance set a new Academy, meet and conference record. In the 400-free relay, his 100-free time of 45.19 was also a school, meet and Landmark best. Lindgren set new 100-back Academy, meet and Landmark records twice, first coming as the first leg of the 400-medley relay when he swam a 48.79 and then his 48.69 in the 100-back individual event. He also set meet records in the 200-back and as a relay team in the 200-medley relay.
Porter was victorious in both the one- and three-meter diving events, claiming the title in the one-meter competition with a score of 440.70 and winning the three-meter event with an NCAA qualifying score of 478.80.
Sophomore Stone Hewitt (Destin, Fla.) claimed two gold medals at the Championships, touching first and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in the 100-breaststroke (56.61) and the 200-breast (2:06.36). Also qualifying for the NCAAs in the 100-breast were sophomores Austin Butt (Westminster, Md.) and Karl Sasse (Frederick, Md.) with times of 57.63 and 58.23, respectively.
Lambson claimed an individual championship in the 200-free in 1:43.74.
In total, the Mariners had 13 gold medals, six academy records, six meet records, four conference records and seven NCAA qualifying marks.
Merchant Marine will be back in action this coming weekend, Feb. 20-22, when the squad takes part in the Metropolitan Championships, hosted by Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.